- The definition of picayune is trivial or unimportant.
A young child having a tantrum about a friend taking her red crayon when another red crayon is within reach is an example of a picayune complaint.
picayune definition by Webster's New World
- a coin of small value, as a former Spanish half-real of Louisiana
- anything trivial
Origin: French picaillon, small coin, halfpenny ; from ProvenÃ§al picaioun ; from picaio, money, probably ; from pica, to ring, jingle, strike ; from Vulgar Latin an unverified form piccare: see picador
picayune definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- Of little value or importance; paltry. See Synonyms at trivial.
- Petty; mean.
- A Spanish-American half-real piece formerly used in parts of the southern United States.
- A five-cent piece.
- Something of very little value; a trifle: not worth a picayune.
Origin: Louisiana French picaillon, small coin, from French, from Provençal picaioun, from picaio, money, perhaps from Old Provençal piquar, to jingle, clink, from Vulgar Latin *piccāre, to pierce; see pique .
- picˌa·yunˈish adjective